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2011 in Photos

Here we come 2012!



Baby Food

The boys are over the moon excited about baby. 

They know a bit about pregnancy since their owner of their day care is expecting twins! 

They ask questions often and make comments.  Caden even said one time that it was his favorite Christmas present/surprise this year!  *My heart melted!*

My favorite thus far though, Caden told me I needed to start eating baby food since babies eat baby food and I need to feed the baby. 

And today, Caleb told me I shouldn't drink water because babies only drink milk.

They're such little smarty pants!

Week 13 Day 1

In these last few weeks of taking photos, I think I've learned one thing.  Keith and I need to get better at taking pictures.  I need to smile.  Perhaps we need to find a better location.  Week 14 mission, better photos!

Weight: 132.5

Pregnancy Thus Far

Yesterday I shared our big Christmas announcement

I also posted several backdated posts.  As we've moved through the pregnancy so far, I've been writing and saving until we made our big announcement. 

In case you want to get caught up on baby thus far, I've pulled them out below.

We learned we were expecting.

Week 9.

We had our first prenatal appointment.

Week 10.

Week 11 Day 3.


Week 12 Day 1.



Surprise!

**Shirts from HeatherRogersDesigns on Etsy.

Santa's Magic

Well, it's Christmas Eve Eve, and I took the day off work. 

I took the day off because our day care closed for Christmas Eve, since it is on Saturday, but it turns out, I'm really glad I did. We had a lot of housework and food preparation to start! 

As the kids and I were snuggling before I climbed out of bed this morning, I was listing all the things we had today to prepare for Santa.  I'll spare you the whole mundane of chores for the day, but there is one in particular that is worth of sharing.

On that list is fold the laundry that is piling up in the living room and pick up the living room in general.  As the boys and I were talking about it, Caleb informed me that we didn't need to clean up for Santa. 

Why's that you ask?

Santa can do it with his magic for us!

Week 12 Day 1

Weight: 132.5

Measurement 29.5 inches


Who needs sleep?

Caden doesn't think he does.

Caden has recently gone through a phase of thinking that he doesn't need to sleep. 

This means he stay awake hours after bed time.  Sometimes sitting quitely allowing his brother to sleep, but more often repeatedly getting out of bed and running around the room, turning on lights and opening doors. 

Then once he does got to sleep, it doesn't always last.  He would come into our room anywhere between 3 and 6 times a night. 

In the mornings he'd tell us about what he saw while wondering the house at night.  And once, I caught him sneaking candy in the middle of the night. 

Three o'clock one morning, Caden came in for the third or fourth time that night and announces "I have something to say."

Keith and I mumbled some response that clearly indicated we had no intention of getting up at this hour. 

His great statement: "I'm not going back to bed."

At this point, I responded: "That's nice, you Daddy and I a…

Week 11 Day 3 Update

Thoughts on this 11 week 3 days pregnant mama's mind:

Last I checked I'd lost 9 pounds; this makes me nervous.I'm stressing about getting enough and the right foods, and it's exhausting.  I'm exhausted in general.  Staying awake until 9 PM is rare and getting up by 7 is a challenge.  Staying awake through the work day is also hard.
I got sick for the first time this week.  All over the living room floor before I could get to the bathroom.  Thank heavens for an understanding husband who took care of it.I'm anxious about our plans for telling everyone at Christmas.  I'm just ready for that to be done.I'm already thinking ahead to our next appointment in 15 days.  Hoping everything goes well.  I also need to speak up, I tend to be shy and quiet, and I think I should probably share more. 
I may be anxious about telling our families, but I'm terribly excited to tell the boys and get them involved and excited!  I know they'll be excited!Calling …

Carousel

With a few phone calls from my Dad on Saturday, Keith and I could tell he was planning something. 

However, my Dad is not a person known for full disclosure, or many words most of the time. 

So after plenty of guessing on our parts, Sunday morning we called Dad to see what the plan really was.  After all if I was expected to be going somewhere, I needed time to prepare (read: take a shower). 

All Keith could get out of him was, we'll be there at noon, be ready to go.  We'll be having lunch, but give the kids a snack, and we're taking your van. 

Mom and Dad show up, we load up, and off we go with Dad at the wheel and two boys asking where we're going.  In typical fashion of my Dad, his answers were, "turning left here," or "following this white car in front of us."

Next thing we know, Dad's pulling up the the Carousel






After many rides, fun, and a visit to see Santa, everyone was hungry. 

I have more photos on our real camera, these came from …
I thought I should follow up on Our Engagement Story

Camerin was still living with us at the time and was home sick the Friday before.  Keith had stayed home with him, but apparently by the afternoon was feeling better, so Keith ventured to the jewelry store with him to toe to purchase a ring. 

He felt pressured to make sure it happened that weekend so Camerin wouldn't spoil his surprise. 

Weeks before he'd spent an afternoon with my dad asking for his permission.  He wasn't able to be sly in pulling this one off since someone had to watch the kids!  I spent the day at the apartment with the kids while he was gone for almost 5 hours! 

Of course I couldn't call him while he was there, and I was certainly starting to get concerned knowing what was going on, but apparently my dad just had lots of questions about the kids and the situation and everything.

Nine and a half months later we were married!

And what engagement post would be complete with a photo of the ring?


Winter Wonderland

At my house this morning, there wasn't any snow, but 7 short miles away at work, it was a slightly different story.

My walk in from the parking lot this morning, looked like this:


Our Engagement Story

Three years ago today, my husband proposed.

While we had been talking about our future and had even looked a rings a time or two, he still surprised me with the proposal.

The day started out smoothly while we were off to church with my mom for worship, followed by a church carry-in dinner and carol sing following.  Growing up, I loved the annual carol sing where the congregation gathered together to sing everyone's favorite Christmas songs, and I was sure our kids would love it too.

Unfortunately shortly into the sing, Keith got a call that his grandmother wasn't doing very well and he rushed out to head to the hospital.  I stayed behind to get an extra car for my mom and make sure we had someone to watch the kids.  Once the responsibilities were taken care of, I headed out to meet him.

After our time at the hospital, we spent the afternoon, again, shopping for rings.  I kept telling him we didn't have to do it today, after all we hadn't had the most cheerful afternoo…

Week 10

Written 12/5
Weight: 132  (I've lost 8 pounds so far.)

Measurement: 29.25

Prenatal Appointment #1 - Week 9

We had our first doctor's appointment on Friday.  I was pretty anxious about going, but everything went very well.  Except for me peeing in the cup.  For some reason, I did not have to pee...at all.  It took two tries and a glass of water from the drinking fountain to get the smallest amount ever.  Note to self for next appointment, drink lots of water prior to the appointment!

We had our first ultra sound and saw the heartbeat on the screen.  I was 9 weeks 4 days at the time and the baby was measuring right at 9 weeks.  Our due date is set for July 2. 

We feel much better after our first appointment, luckily Daddy was able to be there with us. 

It still doesn't seem real yet.  We are starting to talk about it more, and that is making it more realistic.  I'm sure once we tell our families at Christmas, we'll be comfortable with the idea.  Tomorrow, we're going to take our first belly picture, as long as I remember anyway!  I'm not showing yet, and…

November Thankfulness - Installment 8

I'm back for my last installment of thankful posts. 

Day 29:
I'm thankful for my family.  I don't think I've said that yet, although I know I've mentioned each one of them individually, I think they are worthy of another mention as a unit.  We may be a blended family, but we work well, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Day 30:
I'm thankful our house has a garage.  As the weather turns colder and frost and snow arrive, I'm so glad I don't have to scrape my windows every morning.  And let's face it, if we didn't have a garage, I'd probably find a way to make my husband do it for me.  I'd say it's safe to say my husband is happy we have a garage too, even it he forgot to park the car in the garage last night.

Week 9

Since I learned we were expecting, there have been quite a few things that have changed for me.  Looking back, even before we knew, symptoms were present.  I was just dismissing them as being part of a cold and/or my running.  I want to take the time to write down how I've felt these last 2.5 weeks since discovering we were pregnant.   I can't brush my teeth without gagging.I go to bed early.  By early I mean before 9:30 at the latest, and the weekends, I've been falling asleep on the couch before the kids even go to bed at 8.  My appetite is very limited.  It is improving some now, but those first few weeks, EVERYTHING made me nauseous.   I'm cranky.  My husband, I'm sure, would be very quick to agree.We haven't talked too much about it, other than to say the fact that I'm feeling so yucky is hopefully a good sign for this pregnancy.  I'm sure there are a few more things I could share, but the bulk of the last 2.5 weeks has cosisted of trying …

November Thankfullness - Installment 7

Well, I've fallen way behind in my posting. But, I'm back for another installment.  Day 19: I'm thankful for an afternoon without the hubby to do some Christmas shopping with the kids for him.  Let's hope they can keep the secrets! Day 20: I'm thankful for a relaxing day at home, with no where to go. Day 21: I'm thankful tonight is my last night of in-class for my 501 class.  Just a week of online class left for that class this semester! Day 22: I'm thankful my mom watches out boys one day a week.  I love that they're able to spend time with family instead of day care every day. Day 23: I'm thankful for a quiet day at work with everyone out for the holiday. Day 24:  Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for our families and that we're able to celebrate the holidays with them.  It may be a challenge to schedule out holidays with or families, but at least we're able to spend them together and that is what matters. Day 25: I'm thankf…

I peed on a stick.

When I ran my half marathon, I was almost two weeks late for my period.  I assumed it was from all the running and training I had been doing.  I've known that to alter cycles before.

By the Thursday after the race, November 10, I was tired of waiting and on my way to class that night, picked up a pregnancy test.

I know that you are sometimes advised to take them first thing in the morning, and we always have before, but I wasn't willing to wait this time around.  When I got home from class that night, it was the first thing I did.  And sure enough, it was the clearest positive result we've ever received.  (Just a reminder, our previous experiences are here and here.)

I'm feeling much better now about my less than satisfying half marathon.  Not only was I feeling sick, I was pregnant too!

November Thankfulness - Installment 6

Well, I got a bit behind in my Thankfulness this week.  I've been really tired lately; we'll say it's the change of seasons.  It's turning to winter here and getting that chill in the air!  But I'm back for another installment! Day 13: I'm thankful for blessings in disguise from God.  I may not have become a mother the traditional way, but I'm still a mother.  And my boys, they have two Moms.  My heart breaks for them and the challenges they will face in understanding their unique situation, but things could be worse, a lot worse.  So I'm thankful for my boys and our situation because we are safe, happy and loved. Day 14: I'm thankful for my Dad.  The 14th was his 59th birthday.  I've always been a daddy's girl, and that hasn't changed over the years.  Day 15: I'm thankful for my mom.  The 15th was her 54th birthday.  My mom has helped us out a lot with our little family, and for that, we are very grateful.  Day 16: A few…

Photo

This photo makes me smile.

November Thankfulness - Installment 5

Day 11:
I am thankful for our Veterans.  I am thankful for the families that support them.  I am thankful for our freedom they protect.

Day 12:
I'm thankful for my dear friend Lisa.  Today, she moves 7 hours away out of state.  While we are sad to see her go, I am happy for her to open another chapter in her life.

Laundry

I switched a laundry before I went to be one night this week.

Keith was downstairs playing video games, so before heading upstairs to bed, we had this brief conversation:

Me: I know I'm going to ask you this, and I know you're going to say yeah sure, I can do that.  I also know that I'm going to wake up in the morning and have to do it myself, but I'm going to ask you anyway.  Can you put switch the load of laundry when the washer and dryer are done?

Him:  With a slightly confused look on his face.  Yeah, sure, I can do that.  His comment was followed by awkward laughter, which to me indicated I was right.


Me:  Yeah, I've heard that before, I won't hold my breath.  

Him: I'll try my best to remember.

Me:  I've seen your best; I need better.


Wouldn't you know I woke up the next morning, and the laundry was still in the washing machine?

November Thankfulness - Installment 4

I'm back again for another installment.

Day 7:
I'm thankful for a reliable car to get me where I need to be and in comfort too.  I used to drive everywhere; then I met Keith, and he started doing all the driving, well most of it anyway.  When I went back to school it was a bit of an adjustment driving 30 miles one way to school nearly twice a week, so with that commute, plus all my other errands around town, I'm thankful for a reliable car with a working radio and comfort amenities.  Bonus thankful, it's fully paid for. 

Day 8:
Vacation days, because let's face it, working full time, isn't always the most fun all the time.  They are sanity savers, especially when spent with darling little boys.

Day 9:
I'm thankful for pie.  More specifically my ability to bake pie, don't get me wrong, I love to eat pie too.  I find something soothing about baking.  It's great stress relief.  Four pies last night, made me feel satisfied. 

Day 10:
Today, I'm tha…

Half Marathon Race Photos

These photos were taken prior to the race.  I didn't stick around long enough after for any photo evidence of it.  I didn't want any photo evidence of that finish. 



Stomp the Grapes Half Marathon

I ran participated in my first half marathon Saturday.

The plan was to run it, and I did for part of it, but I couldn't sustain it.

The week before the race, both my kids came down with some kind of cold and a nasty cough.  Being the loving, sharing family that we are; I also came down with said cold.  I could feel it starting for the week, so I took extra precautions and took vitamin c everyday, went to bed early, washed my hands like crazy, and I kept it at bay.  Or at least I thought I was.  I might have been in denial about the significance of it, but it is certainly better than more colds I've had.

I knew it would make the race a bit harder, but I certainly didn't anticipate how awful it would be. 

My first mile was faster than it should have been at just under 10 minutes, so I consciously slowed down.  I managed to run the first 7 miles with my planned walk breaks every two miles, plus the water stops that didn't align because I can't drink on the run. 

Some…

November Thankfulness - Installment 2

I'm back for the second installment of November Thankfulness!

Day 3:

I'm thankful for the opportunity to attend graduate school for my MBA with the support of my family.  Wrapped up in this are so many things to be thankful for, not the least of which is my husband who is so encouraging and supportive of what I'm doing and picking up extra work at home to help out too. I wouldn't be able to do it without him. I'm thankful for the financial resources and the ability to fund my schooling. I'm thankful for the intelligence and skills to be able to complete the program. Although, I suppose I could be getting a little ahead of myself there as I haven't seen my first semester grades or made it far enough to be certain when I'll finish; regardless, I'm thankful for the opportunity to try.

Day 4:

Today I'm thankful for TJ Maxx. Strange? Perhaps, but today, it's true. A good college friend of mine, Robin, introduced me to it a few years ago near her…

November Thankfulness

For the month of November, I was thinking about making a list throughout the month.  I hadn't mustered up the motivation to put it down on paper screen.  Then I read this post from Melissa, and here I am. 

So, because it is unrealistic for me to remember to write a post every day about what I'm thankful for the whole month.  My goal is to write them semi-regularly with a few items in each post.

Day 1:
I spent the first day of November as a vacation day.  Keith and I both took two days off over the course of the month.  We picked separate days, and each of the days will be spent with one of the boys.  That's right, one will stay in day care while we have solo time with the other.

Yesterday was Caleb day for me. 

I'm thankful for Caleb time, and the ability to take time off to spend one-on-one with my kids. 

We started out our day dropping Caden off at school and saying hi to his friends and teachers at his request.  Then we headed into Medina for Main Street Cupcakes! …

First Day of Preschool - 2011-2012 School Year

Better late then never right?
Things sure have changed in a year!

Halloween & Christmas

The boys have already started asking for things for Christmas.
While I'm home working on a paper for graduate school today.  Hubby took the boys into town to run errands.
I received and email from hubby while I'm working away.
Subject: "This is what Caleb wants for Christmas." Content:

A year ago this costume terrified both of those boys.  We were at a Halloween party last year that scared them so much we couldn't be in the same room as the werewolf at the part.  This year, they want to be the werewolf.  Time sure does change things!

Pumpkins 2011

' It's a good thing we took pictures the day we carved them, because they are already rotting!

Spirit Day 5K

My employer sponsored a 5K today.

There were about 40 participants, and I finished second in my female age group.  I was 10-ish seconds behind the top finisher in our female age group, who happens to be a good friend of mine. 

I started out with a friend, that top finisher, who I knew would be faster. After roughly a half mile, I fell back a bit and ended up running with a new team members to our department.  We hung together really well through it. 

My first mile was at 8:44. 

My second mile was 10:00. 

My last 1.1 mile was 8:14.

And it was a personal record 5K time!

Marriage Lesson Learned

As I mentioned earlier, my hubby and I recently reach our second year of marriage. 

In those two years, we've learned about each other, our relationship and our family.

One things I've noticed is that over time, I spent less time calling home, aka mom and dad, to ask questions, get help, bounce ideas off.  I spent more time relying on my husband.

It wasn't an instant thing.  And don't get me wrong, I still ask my parents questions and they still help us out, but I always start with my husband now. 

We are a team, my husband and I, and our families, they support us.

That difference that I felt, when I've separated more from my parents and focused on my husband, I'm sure my parents felt it too. 

And that's the thing.  I want to remember how it felt when I realized my husband and I were making a family of our own, just like the family my parents built for my brother and I when we were kids. 

I want to remember this in 20+ years.  Because then, I'll be …

2011 Akron Relay Recap

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I ran in the Akron Marathon Relay, and I loved it!

Our team's final time was 4:45:03.

I ran the second leg of the race, a distance of 5.7 miles.

My official time was 1 hour, 1 minute, 36 seconds.  This means I maintained miles under 11 minutes, which is awesome.

There were SO MANY RUNNERS!  I mean I expected that, but to see it, and to see the crowd, it was an amazing experience.

And the crowd, well, it rocked too.

There sense of support they provided for the friends and/or family that were running was wonderful.  I knew my family would be somewhere near the end of my leg of the race, and seeing so many kids cheering for their parents on the route, made me exicted to get to see my kids cheering too. 

Somewhere in the middle of my leg, I ran into a college friend of mine who was running it.  We ran together for a minute and chatted quickly before I headed off to finish my leg.  She was running the half marathon, and did pretty great!  We went to …

Caden Helps Daddy with the Fish Tank

The week before the fish died, Caden started having interest in helping Daddy with the fish tank. He was so proud of himself. Daddy was one proud fellow too. Putting the salt into the water. Mixing the salt with the water.



I'm no pet sitter.

My husband had a trip for work over the summer.  So, while he was out of town, I was responsible for his share of the household duties, including his fish.  I've not been the biggest fan of his fish, and I haven't been shy about it. 
I headed downstairs the first night to feed the fish, look into the tank, and promptly have a sinking feeling in my stomach as I immediatly start calling my husband.
"Um, Keith, I think your fish are dead."
"Oh no, they just sleep and rest sometimes."
*awkward pause* "Do they sleep piled on top of each other laying flat on the sand?"
"Maybe you should send me pictures."


***WARNING***


**You are about to see dead fish.**


***WARNING***





He calls back and says I need to clean up the tank and get rid of the dead fish.  I have to do what!?
Then he thinks somemore and calls his brother, who is his partner is fish tank madness.  Next thing I know, at 6:00 on a Sunday evening my brother-in-law is driving an hour to come remove…

Cutting Our Wedding Cake

Our second wedding anniversary came and went two weeks ago, but in that time I thought about a few things I want to capture before I forget them.
Our wedding day was certainly a special day.  I'm so glad we made the boys a part of our wedding.  I'm also so glad they remember it, and still talk about it occasioanlly almost two years later. 
Caden and Caleb were three years old on our wedding day.  They loved the fancy clothes and dancing.
Caden; however, was pretty excited about the cake. 
When it was time for us to cut the cake, Caden wasn't far away.  In fact, he was right at the table with us, because he wanted the first piece of cake. 
Photo by Laura @ Perception Studio
Look at the bottom left hand corner of this photo.  There he is.  Waiting for that first piece of cake!
He may have been slightly dissapointed when he had to wait for his cake, but luckily there were so many other distractions his dissapointement certainly didn't last long!

A Selfless Gift

It's that time of year where we've already started talking about what we want from Santa for Christmas this year. 

When we ask what they boys would like from Santa, we've gotten varied answers, but there's one that reoccurred several times now. 

The boys say they have rocking chairs, but that mommy and daddy don't have any.  So their going to ask Santa to bring some rocking chairs for mommy and daddy.

And my heart melts with pride for those two boys.

Should I wear make up?

Caleb and I were in the bathroom together today getting ready to leave.He was washing his hands; I was combing my hair. I feel the need to clarify so that doesn't sound weird.Caleb asked me, are you going to put make up on today?I responded that I didn't know. I hasn't decided yet, then I asked if he thought I should.His response, "um...yes."

Apparently I'm not small.

Remember the time someone called me old?  This week, I was insulted again.

On our anniversary, hubby and I stopped into Marshal's to look for new pillows for our bed.

We didn't find any, but I did walk past a coat I liked.

It just so happened there was a woman standing near it looking at the same coat in a different color. 

I didn't pay much attention other than noting to stay out of her way, but clearly she didn't seem so respectful.

Because you know what she said to me?

"Excuse me, that's an extra small, are you sure that's your size?"

I put the coat back and walked away.

Of course after I walked away I came up with a great come back.  It would have been aren't you a little to old for that style.

But let's face it, I'm too nice to have said that anyway.

Just for the record, she was probably right about the extra small, but you didn't see me admit that, right?

You're Pretty

Last night as I tucked Caden into bed, we were talking. He told me "mommy, you're pretty like a witch."Thanks...I think?

I'm thankful for...

I originally started a list of things I'm thankful for that started looking big picture, but I wanted to write a list of the little things in life that I'm so very grateful for.  Don't get my wrong, I am very grateful for the big things too, like family, friends, our church, our home, etc.  But there is so much more out there to be thankful for, that I don't want to forget the little blessings in life. 

At bedtime prayers with the boys, we always thank God for our blessings, and often share some things we're thankful for that are on our minds.  I usually start with a few things and often the boys start sharing things they're thankful for too and we all pray together and thank God for our blessing.  It love that the boys jump in with their own blessings, and I love the insight it gives me into what's going on in their little minds. 

So, without further delay, here's a list of some of of life's little blessings I'm grateful for:
my children's…

My Prayer

Dear God,

You're asking a lot of me lately.

While I may not understand now, I know it will all work out in the end. You always have a plan.

I need to remind myself of that more.

I have a feeling that our little family's world is about to change.  Good or bad, I'm not sure, maybe some of both.

Regardless, this change is going to be difficult for all of us and who knows how long it will last.

I am putting my faith in you for our family, our lives, our future.

AMEN.

2011 Akron Relay

Hopefully soon I'll get a chance to write more about my experience, why it was so awesome, and why I hope to be able to do it again!

My five year old wants a girlfriend.

Last night while talking to my husband he suddenly remember to tell me that last week Caleb asked him when he could have a girlfriend.

He's 5!

He also said that Caleb told him he knew he wasn't old enough now, but maybe in the third grade?

Hubby said we could talk about it when he was in the sixth grade.

Why was I not a part of this conversation?

Because it should totally be 16 right!?

How was school today?

After school last night, I asked the boys how their days was and what they learned.

Caleb gave great answers, told me the day, month, year and we celebrated his learning.

Caden simply said he learned "good stuff, but I don't want to tell you."  Then he ran out the door to play outside.

And we're only in preschool.

You're Gonna Be

Pandora introduced me to a new song today.
I shouldn't be surprised I like it; I do love me some Reba McEntire!
She was recently performing in NE Ohio, and I'm dissapointed we could go.  Oh responsibility, sometimes you spoil my fun.

Anyway, the song rocked. 

Well, aside from the whole making me tear up, especially on my boys first day of preschool for the year. 
Motherhood is an amazing thing and this song, exactly how I feel.

Running Motivation

I volunteered to run a leg of the Akron Marathon Relay later this month when a friend from high was putting together on Facebook.
My leg is 5.7 miles, which means I need to train!
How do I motivate myself to hey out of bed before the sun rises?
I hung the course map from my lamp on my nightstand. I see it when I go to turn off the alarm, or you know, hit snooze. 
How do you motivate yourself?